Briefs: EAHG I raises over US$500 million; HHM transitions 25 premium hotels

EAHG I raises over US$500 million: Electra America Hospitality Group, a joint venture between Electra America and AKA, has closed the Electra America Hospitality Fund I (EAHG I), which has surpassed its target of raising US$500 million. The fund, which was launched in February 2021, is focused on the opportunistic acquisition of independent hotels in key gateway U.S. markets. Commitment to the fund came from foreign and domestic institutional and high-net worth investors. In 2021, the group deployed US$100 million of capital to acquire seed assets, including the 194-room Hotel AKA Nomad in Manhattan, the 178-room AKA Alexandria in Virginia, and the 201-room Hotel AKA Brickell in Miami.

Among the new contracts for HHM, the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale, Florida

HHM transitions 25 premium hotels: HHM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has integrated 25 premium-branded, full-service, select-service and extended-stay hotels into its portfolio of managed properties, which currently comprises 185 hotels. These new properties are owned by a private equity frim and three publicly traded real estate investment trusts that previously had not worked with HHM. These new additions come with long-term stable management agreements for almost 4,000 rooms across Marriott and Hilton brands and are located in and around existing HHM markets like Denver, Tampa, Austin, Chicago and Ford Lauderdale and new markets like Salt Lake City, Omaha and Louisville. In the last two years, HHM added more than 65 hotels, including 20 hotels by its investment platform.

3650 REIT originates loan for DC Partners: 3650 REIT, the Miami, Florida-based commercial real estate investment firm, has originated a US$38 million loan to refinance the Thompson San Antonio — Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, to sponsor Houston, Texas-based DC Partners. The loan carries a term of 30 months and two six-month extension options. The 162-room hotel features 59 residential condominiums, of which 58 have been sold already. This is DC Partner’s second loan with 3650, following the US$31 million loan for the construction of the 4411 San Felipe, a mixed-use development in Houston in December 2020. The loan is part of 3650’s Bridge and Event-Driven platform.

Crescent adds Los Angeles Athletic Club: Crescent Hotels & Resorts has assumed management of the Los Angeles Athletic Club, which was acquired earlier this month by Los Angeles-based Stockdale Capital Partners. The club is the latest addition to Crescent’s Latitudes by Crescent collection. The club’s athletic facilities, hotel and restaurant venues will undergo extensive renovations. The club also features a boutique hotel, which spans three floors of the 12-story private club and consists of 72 rooms and nine luxury suites.

Black representation in hospitality: Only 11% of the 671 hotel company websites reviewed showed Black executives (director to CEO) prominently on their websites in 2021, which represented merely 2% of all hospitality industry executives on company websites reviewed, revealed the ‘Black Representation in Hospitality Leadership 2022’ report conducted by Castell Project. For the report, analysts studied information from the websites of hotel companies listed in the ‘STR: Directory of Hotel & Lodging Companies.’ The report also shows black employees in the hospitality industry were disproportionately affected during the pandemic. While in 2019, black employees accounted for 18.8% of the hotel industry’s workforce, it slipped to 13.6% in 2021, a 52% drop in jobs. Across all other industries, employment dipped only by 3.2%. Although black women have stronger representation than black men at the director level, they are less likely to be advanced by black men. Black representation in leadership is skewed towards human resources, with HR employing 28% of black employees at the director to CEO levels. Black employees are less likely to find opportunities in F&B, construction/design or investment/development sectors.

UNESCO Pledge adds new signatories: UNESCO and Expedia Group have announced new signatories joining the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge, which aims to promote sustainable travel, community resilience and global heritage conservation. Melia Hotels International has signed the initiative, adding an initial portfolio of more than 136 hotels mostly under the brand Paradisus, Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Innside, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Sol by Meliá in 13 countries. THB Hotels, with its 3- and 4-star hotels in some of Spain’s top tourist destinations, has also signed, along with Majorca’s Universal Hotels, Helios Hotels and Accor’s Mantra brands (Art Series, Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree), growing the total number of signatories to more 130 properties across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii. UNESCO and Expedia will support the EU Ecolabel by offering the certified Tourist Accommodations signatories’ status to UNESCO Pledge. The Edinburgh-based Green Tourism Accreditation, consisting of more than 800 lodging members, is also committing to the UNESCO Pledge.